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This content was first published 3 years ago and may be superseded by events or new information. Please bear this in mind when evaluating this news article.

USI & SIPTU Launch Charter for Postgraduates 

Today, on the 30th October 2019, the Union of Students in Ireland [USI] and SIPTU have partnered up to create a charter of what Institutions should be working towards providing for postgraduates.


As it stands, postgraduates are doing precarious work to earn their degree and are not being recognised by their Institutions as workers. Because of this, these postgraduates are given no stability of wage, leading to a serious issue in standard of living. USI and SIPTU have come together to create a lobby document for Higher Level Institutions across the country to adhere to when it comes to postgraduate rights. 

This Charter lays out exactly what the Trade Union Movement and Student Movement in Ireland expect from HEI’s, in particular postgraduates need to be paid for their work with a written agreement in place to protect their rights as workers. 

Over the past year, USI conducted a survey for our postgraduate members, the outcome of this research has led to the creation of an evidence based postgraduate charter. 

USI President, Lorna Fitzpatrick said:

“The Trade Union Movement and Student Movement have come together to ignite a flame for postgraduate rights, we are sick and tired of hearing the horror stories that come from postgraduates such as their conditions as workers and the lack of stability in their work.

Postgraduates need to be listened to and treated fairly with respect in their workplace, it is of highest importance that HEI’s take into consideration the challenges facing students at postgraduate level and put the proper procedures in place as per the USI-SIPTU Postgraduate Charter.”

USI Vice President for Postgraduate Affairs, Sara Dowling said:

Postgraduates in Ireland face a dangerous grey area when it comes to their representation and rights protections. They are often without access to appropriate work supports, sufficient pay or proper recognition. In Ireland we stress the crucial importance of Postgraduates within our professional and economical backdrop – yet continue to undermine and take advantage of them in a student capacity. This is simply unacceptable.”

Dave Curran, SIPTU Assistant Industrial Organiser said:

“Many postgraduates experience precarious working conditions and low pay within their Higher Education Institutions.

SIPTU and the USI have launched this campaign to address the issues of precarious work, living standards and proper support for postgraduates, in particular PhD students.

While many postgraduates are not officially recognized in Ireland as employees, the issue of income and living standards is of great concern to the trade union movement and the student movement.

By involving postgraduate students and lobbying Higher Education Institutions we hope to build up a grassroots campaign to establish this charter across all Ireland.”


Find out more here 👉


This content was first published 3 years ago and may be superseded by events or new information. Please bear this in mind when evaluating this news article.